Sunday, April 13, 2014

Another Chapter is Ending

I grew up in this home.
When I was two years old, my family, then consisting of Dad, Mom, my brother Rick, and me moved from Indiana to Findlay, Ohio. We moved into a little three bedroom house on West Front Street. By the time I was ten years old, we had added four more siblings. I was the only one of the six kids who did not take my first steps in our first home in Findlay. Many years later, after I had graduated from college, my family moved to another house. And so ended one chapter in our lives.

That move happened half of my lifetime ago. Over the years, we have seen our old home change hands a couple times. It's current owner is City Mission, an organization that aids homeless people. I'm not certain exactly what their plans are for the lot, but it doesn't include maintaining an old house that has become quite run-down over the last few decades since we moved away. Sometime soon, probably this next week, the house on West Front Street will be torn down. 

This grate allowed warm air to rise to the upstairs bedrooms.
I brought this keepsake home.

Over the last few years, City Mission has graciously allowed various members of my family to go back inside the house. Mom, Dad, and I went there this past Friday for one last visit. We took lots of pictures...and salvaged a few items as keepsakes. There wasn't much to take with us, but I am glad we got the things we did.

Mom brought this keepsake home.
She had never noticed the eagle was
upside down.

And so...another chapter is coming to an end. As with everyone who ever lived, I am sure, our life in the house on West Front Street held a mixture of sadness, happiness, pain and pleasure. As I walked through the empty rooms for the last time, I did not reflect on the sadness and pain. Instead, I recalled the happy, silly, funny times we shared in that home.
  • Tickle fights where all six kids pinned Dad down on the living room floor to tickle him...until someone called "Everybody on ......!" and the person called was the next tickle-ee".
  • Watching the first moon walk on the little black and white TV
  • Six PJ-clad kids gathered on these stairs
    every Christmas morning for a photo.

    Coming downstairs in our PJ's on Christmas morning to see what was in our stockings.
  • Dad making pancakes for breakfast when Mom was in the hospital after giving birth to one of the youngest kids. He mistakenly put pancake syrup in the skillet. (I think he assumed pancakes were to be fried in vegetable oil rather than butter, and he picked up the wrong bottle. What a mess!)
  • Mom's pleasure over opening Dad's Christmas gift of a sewing machine cabinet...and the laughter over the silly gift Mom received of a Snuffleupagus stuffed animal. (Remember that character from Sesame Street?)
  • Watching Rick literally fall off his chair with laughter. I have no idea now what he was laughing about.
    Steve wasn't allowed in the house
    after the Swale Park episode
    until he had shed his smelly
    outer clothes outside.
  • Janet eating blueberry pie and finding the fruit stained her teeth blue.
  • Beth at age three or so eagerly offering her services to erase mistakes in the homework of her older siblings.
  • Steve coming home covered head to toe in stuff much stinkier than mud after taking a forbidden shortcut through Swale Park. (I didn't witness that event, but it is part of family legend.)
  • Doug trimming the eyebrows off of Mom's Snuffleupagus stuffed animal because Mom had commented jokingly that his eyebrows were too shaggy. (By the way, Mom still has Snuffy.)
As for many memories. I especially remember my reading corner where I would mentally disappear into a good book and be completely unaware of what was going on around me. I also remember Rick and I sitting on the swing set in the back yard making up travel adventures. In our imaginations, we traveled to so many places. Hmmm...I guess we started our world-traveling even then.

So, one chapter is ending. There are many more to come. I look forward to seeing what future chapters have in store.

1 comment:

  1. That house so reminds me of my grandparent's home. The vent grate is exactly the same.

    It's sad to see a home with so many memories stored inside, torn down; but at least it's going to a Godly cause (and not some random business).

    Great memories.

    (Sorry I've been absent so long, I've been very busy. I've scaled back my blogging and whatnot...)


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